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Adding Custom Fields to Forms in QuickBooks

You’ve defined custom fields, but how do you get them into your forms?

Adding custom fields to QuickBooks records is easy. You may have already defined several for your customer, vendor and employee records to track specific information.

But how are these fields used? The two most common scenarios, both of which would be explained to you in a QuickBooks training course, are:

  • As a new field added to customized form templates
  • As a search filter in reports

Let’s look at the first scenario here by adding a Contract # custom field to an existing invoice template. Create a custom field with that label first. (If you’ve never done that, simply open a customer record and click Additional Info, then Define Fields. Type in a label name, put a checkmark in the appropriate Use for: column and click OK.)

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You can create up to seven custom fields each for customers, vendors and employees.

Readying the Form

Open the Lists menu and select Templates. Choose the one you want to modify. Click the arrow next to Templates in the lower left and select Duplicate. In the dialog box that opens, make sure that the button next to Invoice is filled in, then click OK. Your template list will now have an entry for Copy of [your template name]. This is the version you’ll modify (to prevent possible damage to your original).

Make sure your copy is highlighted, then click Edit Template in the Templates drop-down menu. The Basic Customization window will open. Click the Additional Customization button at the bottom of the screen to open that dialog box. The Header column should be open (“Header” refers to the blocks of information at the top of your invoice).

Find Contract # in the list and check the boxes in both the Screen and Print columns. A warning message will probably tell you that you have overlapping fields. Unless you want to work with the Layout Designer (which you’ll probably have to take a QuickBooks class to master), select Default Layout. Another box warns that this will delete all changes made previously using the Layout Designer. You can ignore this, of course, if you haven’t used that tool before.

Be sure to enter Contract # in the Title column to the right of your checkmarks. Click Print Preview to see your new field, then Close and OK.

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Part of the invoice header in the Print Preview window, displaying your new custom field.

One final step: In the Basic Customization window (which should be active now), click Manage Templates. With your newly-customized template copy highlighted, enter a new name for it in the field next to Template Name on the right and click OK.

That’s it. This new template will now appear in your list of options when you create invoices.

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